So here we are, just accomplished one of the things we sent off to do, and then we have to stop that and turn it back on. This is messed up, but at least I can ask Blake what's going on.
“So I'm going to ask the biggest question, why did you have us turn the magnetic propulsion back on Blake?” I say over the speakerphone.
"Well, turning it off would have fired us. We found the generator. Open Ion Fusion, and with this design, it doubles as the secondary propulsion." Good explanation, though I had no idea what open-
Alex meanwhile interrupts my train of thought with "I think I turned that secondary propulsion on. Meanwhile a pressing question, this ship has open ion fusion?"
"Yeah, ions being bombarded into each other into it's own personal sun. Hydrogen into Helium into Sodium ex-cetira. And it's a good thing you turned it on slowly. We only got a few flares." Miniature sun? That sent a bad feeling straight down my spine to the tip of my tail.
I ask "A few? And there's a miniature sun on this thing?"
"Artificial. And it's not sustaining itself either. Extra hydrogen must be being pumped in. I've seen bigger fusion reactors that power an entire city from just a few atoms a day. But this is impressive, and dangerous. Only way to shut this down is to vent the burning fuel down below."
I sigh "But we can't do that because it would be dumping them on earth... and I'm not eager on finding out how much damage that would cause."
"With that portal open... your going to have two roasted planets. Also, we might have another problem with shutting off the magnetic radiation source."
"I'll put that on my list of growing complications, what's said problem?"
"The portal and this ship are having a sort of tug o war with the Earth's magnetosphere. Not going to be good if either side wins. And Two Hours until both our worlds get a very nasty shock."
I note the look on Alex's face, like he had a really bad thought, but I just had the same one he probably did. "Which forces us to find yet another solution. I'm guessing the shock would send everything with a heart into cardiac arrest?"
"Full marks. And we're ill prepared for mass defibulation. And moving the ship an inch will set that off anyway. I might have something to absorb the shock away from both worlds, but the portal will stabilize permanently, and your sewers will connect with my skyscraper." A sewer connecting with a skyscraper... it'd be funny if there wasn't the immediate problem of the shock killing us and the incineration thing.
Alex speaks up "Permanently? I bet that wasn't part of your original plan. Though a permanent portal would be much better than other consequences."
Blake says through the phone "Or our current situation, just buying time for one world to throw the other under a bus."
I decide to make an optimistic comment to that "You can survive being thrown under a bus you know."
"Not everyone can." was his reply.
"You have a point there. But what's your idea for getting rid of the shock?"
"Thor's hammer. Separate the head from the hilt, and have someone hold them at either end of the portal. The portal will merge the rooms together, overlapping space, but completely stable."
Jamie pops into the conversation then "It will be hard to tell where one ends and the other starts as a result."
I try to imagine that in my head, then just state "Hard to tell where a sewer ends and an office building begins, that's something. But still, we would need to get back to the portal to do so, and right now I have no idea how to get back there."
"Gravity corridor goes two ways, but just as bad a landing." Oh goody, 'nother trip on the abduction beam. Alex was about to say something before Blake continues on with "Virus. Virus. What do we do about the virus? And my nanobots have been strangely calm, even after running into those discolored infected."
"Discolored?" Me and Alex ask within a second of each other.
"Yeah, sort of reddish skin, and their body temp wasn't feverish. It was more... normal, healthy." Now my day's expectations just got thrown out a window.
Alex is the first one to say something about that “Okay, not sure about that, the red skin I could chalk down to sunburn, but the body temp usually runs high... do you think they have a mutated strain in them?"
"Don't know, they all fell into open space when we dropped into the generator room. What do you send to a thirty foot tall dragon for saving your life?" Good thing I threw my expectations out a window. But if my Dad saved his life... hard thing to repay a life debt...
I decide and say "Not sure, there isn't exactly many ways to pay someone back for saving your life... but since it's my dad, get him a ball he can't smash with the mace on his tail."
"Got lots of those. Just need to find one that doesn't have anything inside it. Why a ball?"
"Ever tried playing baseball with him? every-time, the ball becomes dust when he hits it or it goes too far out for even a dragon to find or catch." And I meant it, Ever since my Dad's transformation he wasn't able to play in the sport, see, quadrupeds use their tail as a bat, unfortunately the super-mace that was dad's tail tip was far to strong and hit way too hard, nothing really could stand against it.
"Try a cricket ball, a lot harder to destroy or miss. Not sure if it will work with baseball."
"No, we've tried everything including that, we even tried a crushed and balled up car once, shredded upon impact. Rocks, metal, even rubber, nothing has the strength and weight to an be an actual good baseball for him." Except a wrecking ball, but that wouldn't be fair for the anthros and taurs now would it?
"Really. I'll think of something. And Kate is looking at me like I'm taking in a different lang...uage?" I hear a deep rumbling sound... with a start I realize it's Ty growling. I look back at thew corridor where it came from.... something isn't right...
"Shane, do you hear footsteps like, metal on metal?" I heard it through the phone speaker and was about to say so, but then a loud roar comes form the corridor... Ty!
"TY!." I rush out the corridor towards where Ty's roar came from.
"Shane?" Blake asks the moment Shane gets out of earshot.
I say "He just rushed off to find Ty, that roar was one of pain, we might have to cut this short."
A loud clang echoes through the speaker "Yeah. We may have to." Blake said a second later.
A robotic voice says “Come with us now or we terminate the human." before the line goes dead.
“That didn't sound good. But we had better catch up to Shane and before he gets to far ahead for us to follow.” Jamie nods as I shut the lid on the DDA and tuck it under-arm as we head out into the corridor, it didn't take too long to find Shane, because he was on top of something big. Imagine a elephant crossed with an armadillo, give it two trunks with spikes on the tip and a set of downward pointing tusks like that on a saber tooth tiger... the second thing I noticed was Ty knocked against a wall, dizzied and confused, the thing must have quite a punch to take him out.
Shane roars as he drives his knife into the creatures back, I hear the shell break, but then a massive amount of electricity surges from his arms into the blade... the creature jerks and roars in it's own high-pitched method that made me cringe, the thing starts bucking and twisting to get Shane off, he had nothing to really hold onto except his knife, but that slips out and he goes rolling, he recovers from it and was about to roast the thing with his built-in flamethrower, but then a streak of blue light hits the thing in the head, and it abruptly falls over, alive, but KO at the same time... We all look to see where the shot came from and see an person there... correction, an alien. She was blue skinned and had hooves for feet, a futuristic pistol in her hands. The first thing Shane does after seeing her is put his knife up and checking on Ty.
“Hey, you alright?” He says to Tyler as the alien lowers her pistol and starts walking down the corridor towards us. Ty shakes his head and groans “That hurt like hell, but i'm okay... I guess.” He rolls onto his feet and gets up, flaring his wings to get any kinks that happened when he hit the wall. I walk up and hand him his DDA “Here, I don't need it anymore.” He thanks me and straps it around his forearm.
By now the alien had gotten within talking distance. She says a few words that we couldn't understand... except for Jamie who seemed to understand perfectly since she translates for us “Her name is Mid'ana, and she's going to put us into the psychic web.
First thing I think when I hear that is psychic web?
-Yes, it's a far easier way to communicate without language barriers.- I hear the feminine voice in my head and realize it's Mid'ana's.
-Well this is new- Comes from out of nowhere, it sounded like Shane, but had a deeper edge to it... Zael.- Shane mentally tells Zael to shut it, but apparently he wasn't having any of it... did Shane really have to deal with this guy for twenty years?
“Yes I have Alex.” Shane says with an annoyed look on his face.
A small zapping sound later I hear a mental roar, something happened to Zael, the source obviously being Mid'ana when she scolds him with -You will speak only when spoken to, do you understand parasite?- And it's above a scold... I hear Zael mentally say -Why does everyone have to be hating on m- RAGGGH!- Another zapping sound and Mid'ana gets out the punishment threat -Or would you prefer to sit locked in the ship's computer for the rest of your existence?- He stays silent after that.
-Now since that has been dealt with, May I welcome you aboard the Elipisis?- she 'says' suddenly all the hate directed at Zael leaving her mind... must have big issues with split personality stuff.
Jamie is the one who responds with a kind -Thank you Mid'ana, I believe you know why we are here?-
-Yes, or most of it, the anomaly on the planet is fighting with the magnetic propulsion over the magnetosphere, that will end with disaster if it's not stopped... However things here a more complicated than you might have seen. If you follow me I can tell you on the way.- More complications? Just my day. She starts leading us through the corridors, explaining that there was a pirate on board, which Blake and the others had run into... the story she told wasn't a happy one.
-This Price... he came onto this ship for slaves. Almost everyone was in cryo-sleep at the time and there was almost nothing to stop him. As it went on the crew died one by one, not one submitting to him... until one managed to activate the emergency system, he diead in the process, but he was able to get me and.... others awake.- The word 'others' was fraught with emotion... the way it sounded was like she was very close to them.
After a few turns we end up back at the cargo bay... I don't remember going up any stairs or anything... weird, but things could be odder. Though Shane realizes something...
-The others... would one of them happen to have been the captain?- She stops dead and turns toward him -You have seen my mother?- Her joy was barely hidden... I saw both Jamie and Shane's expression darken... oh, not good.
Jamie breaks the news -Mid'ana... She is gone.- I see her eye twitch, and feel a wave of sadness that is quickly drawn in
-Please tell me how.- Was her almost silent words... Jamie recounts the story, Mid'ana didn't take the story well, but it was better than some others would have taken it... something was scratching in the back of my mind, like I was forgetting something.
-At least she didn't fall to that monster Price.- She hadn't cried yet, but you could tell she was close to it... Then Ty, even though he seemed depressed to hear what happened, suddenly brightened like he had the greatest idea.
-If you're the captain’s daughter...- He reaches into the bag tied to his shoulder and pulls out the control crystal... how could I not remember that?
-Would this help?- He says holding out for her to see. The moment she sees it her eyes widen -Where did you find this?- She asks while taking it out of his hand.
-Oh I found it on top of a pile of crates, thrown up there by your mom I guess to keep Price from getting his hands on it.-
-That sounds like her alright.- She gets a look of concentration on her face and the crystal lets out a loud chime and a small glow -Let's see about getting your friends here.- And the crystal lets of a smaller chime, as a trapdoor in the ceiling opens...